Occupational Therapy (OTD)
With its entry-level program leading to a Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree Nova Southeastern University, Tampa, will join five other universities that offer entry-level doctoral degrees in occupational therapy. The OTD Program has applied for accreditation and has been granted Developing Program Status by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), which is located at the Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA),
4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200,
Bethesda, MD 20814-3449.
ACOTE's telephone number c/o AOTA is (301) 652-AOTA
ACOTE's website link is www.acoteonline.org.
Classes for NSU's 3 ½-year, hybrid (blended) distance/weekend OTD program occurs at the NSU Tampa campus and online. The program, designed to attract creative and compassionate individuals who like to help others achieve their potential, meets the need for occupational therapy education beyond a master's degree by students who want flexibility while performing their domestic roles.
A distance/weekend hybrid means that students receive part of their education at the Tampa campus during four day institutes taught by reputable faculty members once or more a month per semester. Students take the remainder of each course in an online format, using state-of-the-art technology. Success in the program requires the ability to navigate the university's learning management system (currently Blackboard), manage electronic communications, utilize research and information databases in and out of the World Wide Web, apply software, among other technology when participating in the didactic, clinical and capstone components of the NSU OTD curriculum. Utilization of technology and networked resources mirrors provision of care by doctorally prepared occupational therapists, and the program's goal is to provide opportunities to optimally prepare graduates for real world practice.
During the program, students accumulate nearly 2,000 hours of part- and full-time clinical education. This will include three 3-week and two 12-week internships plus a 16-week doctoral residency in a negotiated practice area. Assignment of clinical sites is competitive and subject to availability and in most, if not all cases will require students to commute a distance or relocate.
NSU's OTD program is dedicated to preparing occupational therapists to serve as a part of an interdisciplinary team of health professionals in a variety of practice settings, such as hospitals, schools, outpatient, and home health as well as in programs they develop where occupational therapists are not yet employed. Course activities promote clinical decision-making and patients and clients, from initial examination to outcomes assessment. Students' clinical competency will be evaluated both in the basic sciences and clinical skills prior to their fieldwork experiences and doctoral residency.
The fieldwork and residency experiences include:
- Community field trips and three course-related 3-week Level I fieldwork experiences allow students to apply occupational therapy concepts and theories at selected clinic or other settings.
- Level II fieldwork experiences comprise two 12-week, full-time clinical internships at approved settings where licensed occupational therapists supervise students while they provide occupational therapy service as they complete predoctoral preparation.
- The doctoral residency includes 16 weeks of in-depth experience in one or more of the following: clinical practice skills, research skills, administration, leadership, program and policy development, advocacy, education, or theory development.